Football match in honour of Gorleston 'legend' Clive

Clive Mather smiling with a cup of tea

Clive "Hodgey" Mather died on February 5, 2022. He was 57 years old. - Credit: Submitted by the Mather family

"He was just a brilliant son, father and grandfather."

That is the heartfelt tribute of the widow of a "larger than life" man from Gorleston who died from a heart attack.

Clive Mather, also known as 'Hodgey', died at the age of 57.

Clive and Linda Mather.

Clive and Linda Mather. - Credit: Submitted by the Mather family

Mr Mather was a father of five and grandfather to 16 and was affectionately known as a man "who wanted everyone to be happy" and always one to "dish out banter" to his nearest and dearest.

"The man was simply amazing," said his widow, Linda.

"Nobody had a bad word to say about him. He would always help those in need.

"Even when he had problems of his own, he would want to help others."

Clive and Linda Mather on their wedding day.

Clive and Linda Mather on their wedding day on August 1, 1987. - Credit: Submitted by the Mather family

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After enduring heart issues, including several mini heart attacks over a few months, Mr Mather died from a massive heart attack on February 5.

He was 57 years old.

Despite living with complications after being electrocuted in 1988 - which severely affected his thyroid and eventually caused him to weigh 34 stone - Mr Mather "took everything in his stride".

Even after doctors had told him he only had days to live, Mr Mather insisted on handing in his notice to his employer, where he worked as a lorry driver.

"He said he had to do things properly," said Mrs Mather.

"So he called his boss and said, 'I have to hand in my notice, but I'm afraid I can't work the 14 days required as I only have about two left to live.'"


A sports headline from the April 29, 1988 edition of the Great Yarmouth Mercury. - Credit: Submitted by the Mather family

Described as a "local legend" on the football pitch, Mr Mather made several headlines while he was active in the local leagues. A sports headline from April 1988, read: "Mather Machine Sinks Rangers".

He will be remembered in a charity football match at Southtown Common on Saturday with a 2pm kick-off.

Saturday's charity football match will help raise funds for equipment for James Paget's University Hospital's Emergency Assessment and Discharge Unit (EADU), where he spent some time before his death.

"The staff on EADU were brilliant," said Mrs Mather.

"They had all the time in the world. I know Clive wanted to find a way to repay them for the care he received."

Composite picture of Clive and Linda Mather

Linda Mather described her late husband as "simply amazing". - Credit: Submitted by the Mather family